The events in Aurora, Colorado of the past few days are mind-boggling. The defendant, James E. Holmes, will be charged with walking into a movie theater, killing twelve people, and injuring and wounding close to 60 others. He did this after dying his hair red attempting to act like the Joker from the Batman comic book series and movie franchise. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this horrible and devastating crime. As the police try to piece together what and why it occurred, we must not forget that as a free society a single human suffering from a major mental defect and/or disease, has the ability to inflict this type of pain and destruction on others. When these catastrophic events occur we as a nation all lose some of our freedom.
At some point James E. Holmes will be appointed a lawyer or his family will retain one for him. The only viable defense available to the defendant in this case will be insanity. The reality is that as a civilized society, with a justice system that is over two hundred years old, that Mr. Holmes will in all likelihood be adjudged insane and he will spend the rest of his life in a mental institution with the public paying for his care and treatment. Our criminal justice system provides for an insanity defense when this type of inexplicable act occurs. In a free society we are all vulnerable to these types of criminal acts. These incidents make us all realize what a high price we pay for our freedom as a society to live the lives we do. Every time we go to a movie theater we will all be acutely more aware of our surroundings. That escape of the big screen we all cherish will be tarnished for some time to come.
As the news media continues to report about this tragedy and tries to ascertain why and how this could have occurred, the plain reality is that this individual was not a normal member of a free society. His mental defect has caused so much death and destruction that it will cause us to look carefully again at our freedoms. Comic book and movie characters are meant to stay on the pages of the book or the big screen we see them on. When these fantasies become reality for individuals like James E. Holmes we all must never take for granted the freedom we have and the price we pay for it. Regardless of the criminal outcome of this case, we must all realize that this is the act of one individual. We cannot allow this depraved monster to change our lives, and the pleasures of the big screen we all enjoy.
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Commentary by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Yale Galanter:
Yale Galanter, a Miami criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience providing discreet and aggressive legal counseling to both public figures and clients looking for precise and excellent legal defense. Yale Galanter is known for his personal representation and attention to your criminal matter.
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